PTH(1-84) and PTH(7-84) are elevated in chronic kidney disease (CKD). These peptides, as their shorter analogs PTH(1-34) and PTH(7-34) both promote PTH receptor (PTH1R) internalization but only PTH(1-34) and PTH(1-84) activate the receptor. Here, we examined the effects of intermittent administration of PTH(1-34) and PTH(7-34) on mineral ion metabolism, bone architecture, and vascular calcification in rats with experimental CKD. CKD with or without parathyroidectomy (PTX) was established by 5/6 nephrectomy (NPX) in rats. Animals were divided into 4 groups: Sham PTX+ sham NPX (Sham); PTX+ sham NPX (PTX); Sham PTX+NPX (NPX); PTX+NPX (PTX/NPX). Rats were treated with single daily doses of 40 microg/kg PTH(1-34), PTH(7-34), or vehicle. Creatinine was higher in NPX and Ca lower in PTX and PTX/NPX groups than in Sham or NPX rats. Plasma phosphate was higher in PTX, NPX and PTX/NPX than in Sham rats. PTH(1-34) was more hypercalcemic than PTH(7-34) in PTX rats. Fractional bone volume in rats treated with PTH(1-34) increased significantly in all groups compared to that of vehicle treatment. In addition, trabecular number, thickness and volumetric bone density increased in rats treated with PTH(1-34). In contrast, PTH(1-34) diminished vascular calcification. Bone and renal PTH1R mRNA expression was reduced as much or more in PTX/NPX rats as in NPX alone, whereas PTH(7-34) had no effect on PTH1R expression. Renal but not bone PTH1R mRNA increased in response to PTH(1-34). These findings suggest that PTH(1-34) exerts greater hypercalcemic and anabolic effects in parathyroidectomized and/or nephrectomized rats than does PTH(7-34). There was no evidence for significant bone or vascular actions of PTH(7-34). We conclude that PTH(1-34) protects against vascular calcification and bone demineralization in experimental renal failure.